Love Chocolate? Don’t Miss The Belize Chocolate Festival This Year

Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

belize chocolateOne of the most exciting food festivals in the world is going to kick off in the southern Toledo District of Belize in May. From Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21, 2017 the Belize Chocolate Festival will feature three whole days of celebrating this miraculous food in all its various formats. Local farmers will showcase their finest chocolates, and wines in between hosting trips to cacao farms and dancing the night away as local musicians fill the air with the sweet sounds of their indigenous heritage.

The cacao fruit, the seeds of which produce the world-famous food known as chocolate, is a local plant originally from Central America, and Belize’s Toledo District is renowned for having some of the best cacao in the world. Alongside a mind-boggling array of chocolate desserts and treats, the festival will feature other chocolate flavored products like chocolate beer, chocolate barbecue and chocolate soap.

The town of Punta Gorda, capital of the Toledo District, will host a lively street fair during the three-day festival with plenty of live music, arts and crafts, games and activities for children, and a wide range of cultural displays from the region’s rich blend of indigenous peoples.

For chocolate lovers, there’s simply no better place to stay than the lovely Villas at Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula in the Stann Creek District. Popular because of its lovely seaside setting and close proximity to all the fun in Punta Gorda and the Toledo District, rooms are rapidly filling up.

“I thought I loved chocolate before but now I am totally in love,” said one American visitor. “This is truly the best chocolate in the world down here in Toledo District. It has a taste that’s simply sublime.”

Known around the world as a superfood, chocolate in its pure raw form is extremely high in antioxidants as well as essential minerals like copper, manganese and iron. Chocolate was considered the elixir of life by the ancient Maya and the king was reputed to have drunk up to 50 cups a day of chocolate.

Held every year since 2007, the Chocolate Festival of Belize is rapidly becoming one of the most popular events in the country. Local growers enjoy showing off their premium products while getting a chance to promote the natural beauty of Toledo District which has long been overlooked by some tourists. All workers at the fair are local volunteers eager to show off their heritage and culture while welcoming visitors to the agricultural products and unspoiled natural landscapes in Toledo District.

For more information about all of the activities and scheduled events, see the festival’s official website here or feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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Belize in May

Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

The month of May is the perfect time to visit Belize. A combination of pleasant weather, reduced rates on tours and attractions, and vacation time on Memorial Day in America make visiting Belize in May a great way to appreciate all of the beautiful nature and exciting adventures this small Central American country has to offer.

May is when a lot of the major airlines, including United, Southwest, American, and Delta offer special fares on non-stop flights to Belize from major American cities. Combine affordable flights with special offers from resorts, hotels, lodges, and tour companies throughout the month of May, and you can enjoy a fabulous Belize vacation for less.

Here are just some of the many interesting festivals and activities you can enjoy during your May vacation in Belize:

Mother’s Day

May 14 is not an official holiday in Belize, but it’s Mother Day’s in America. Why not surprise Mom with a lovely getaway vacation to Belize? She can get pampered at a full-service spa, relax by the pool, sip on fresh cocktails, sample locally produced chocolate, and dance all night to Caribbean rhythms.

Swim with Whale Sharks

Every year, migrating whale sharks visit the waters offshore of Belize. Rising from the depths to feed on spawning fish and juvenile marine fauna, whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean but pose no risk to humans.

Note: In order to protect whale sharks, only licensed tour operators are allowed to bring divers to the whale shark feeding grounds.

Chocolate Festival

May 19-21, 2017, is when the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize will be held in the town of Punta Gorda. Snack on a delicious assortment of chocolate-based dishes, including unusual items like chocolate beer, and enjoy all the fun, music, and games of the street fair.

Outdoor Adventures

Adventures abound in Belize where visitors can scuba dive, snorkel, hike, zip line, go caving, bird watch, and explore long-lost Mayan cities.

Cashew and Agricultural Festival

Belize’s fertile soil and warm weather produce a bounteous harvest. One of the best ways to enjoy fresh, local food is by attending the Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show in the village of Crooked Tree in northern Belize.

Sovereign’s Day

The entire nation of Belize uses the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday and Commonwealth Day to celebrate on May 22 with horse races in Belize City and Orange Walk Town, a bicycle race in Belmopan, and plenty of fun, games, and music across the country.

Labour Day

May 1 is Labour Day in Belize, a unique holiday that begins with a formal speech by the Labour Minister and then continues with parades, rallies, and festive demonstrations across the country. There’s also kite flying contests, cycle races, horse races, and even a harbor regatta to enjoy.

With fabulous weather, an abundance of public holidays and festivals, and affordable rates on flights and lodging, May is definitely a wonderful time to enjoy a getaway vacation to Belize.

Where to stay in Belize

Chabil Mar

A multiple award-winning resort located just minutes from Placencia Village, Chabil Mar is an oasis of tranquility and luxury that welcomes guests with well-appointed villas, a lush tropical garden, and a gourmet restaurant where diners can enjoy their meals al fresco on a private pier.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information about Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation in May.

 

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An Indiana Jones Adventure

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

A new article published by Destinations Travel magazine has highlighted the many exotic wonders available for travelers in Belize. If you’ve ever wanted to explore a long-lost city deep in the jungle, Destinations Magazine recommends that you visit Belize, an exotic land just a short flight from the United States where you can live out all of your Indiana Jones fantasies while exploring the ancient world of the Maya.

For thousands of years, the ancient Maya ruled over Central America with a vast empire stretching from El Salvador in the south to Mexico in the north. The modern day nation of Belize formed the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization. Dozens of impressive cities were built by the Maya in Belize, including Altun Ha, Xunantunich, and Caracol where lofty pyramids and imposing temples were built deep within the jungle. Today, visitors can explore these unique historical landmarks to marvel at the architectural prowess of a long-vanished civilization that had no access to wheels, draft animals, or modern technology.

Belize is an adventure traveler’s paradise. Whether you’re interested in sunning yourself on a tropical island beach or spotting wildlife deep within a pristine rainforest, Belize has it all. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to a kaleidoscope of colorful marine fauna and flora, including dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, and hundreds of species of fish. And Belize’s mainland has plenty to offer as well, including nature reserves where endangered native species like brown pelicans, jaguars, and margays (a big cat similar to a puma) frolic and play in the jungles, savannahs, and rainforests.

“This year has gotten off to a great start for Belize,” said Larry France, marketing manager of the Chabil Mar resort. “This new article from Destinations Magazine is a great introduction to all of the wonderful sights and activities in Belize, and we look forward to welcoming Destinations Travel readers to our home.”

The best way to relax after a full day’s adventure of fun in the sun is by staying at a Belize beach resort. Offering luxurious accommodations right on the beach and world-class hospitality, gourmet food, and customer service, resorts like Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula, and a stroll along the beach to center of Placencia Village, are an oasis of tranquility conveniently located close to all of the top attractions both on the mainland and the offshore reef and islands.


Valentine’s February Special

Make your reservations during February and you’ll get substantial savings on your summer vacation. Book now and reserve your villa at Chabil Mar between May 1 and September 30, 2017, for a six-night stay and you’ll get one additional free night (Pay for six, Stay for seven). To qualify for this special offer, you must make your reservation on or before February 28, 2017.

For more information about our specials or Chabil Mar, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Easter in Belize: Everything a Spring Holiday Should be–and More

Posted on Friday, February 10th, 2017

easter in Belize

When spring arrives, the faithful eagerly await Easter, a holiday filled with pageantry and fun. Should you decide to celebrate the holy season here in Belize, make it the kind of vacation that suits your religious needs and sensibilities while enjoying weather that’s heavenly. As a Christian, you’ll celebrate in a nation where 80-percent of the populace shares your faith; if you’re not Christian you’ll have an equally fabulous time of it since Belize serves up some of the most beautiful sights, sounds and tastes in the Caribbean at this time of year.

What sets Belize apart from other Central American nations when Easter rolls around? As a society that takes the season of Jesus’s resurrection very seriously, your visit will coincide with a four-day celebration that’s a non-stop ride through parties, events and religious rituals. The nation shuts down in deference to the pious nature of the season, but you won’t care if you visit because you are in Belize to slow down and relax, right?

If you’ve limited time in Belize and wish to see the best of the best, we urge you to attend this Good Friday tradition: evening mass followed by a moving re-enactment of The Way of the Cross staged in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen in western Belize. Other re-enactments of the Via Crucis will also be held in the Districts of Orange Walk and Corozal, in case one of these locations is more convenient for you.

If you think a suitcase filled with fancy Easter duds is necessary for your holiday trip, re-think your packing strategy. Bring one nice outfit to attend services at any of Belize’s churches on Good Friday, but because the weather’s hot and lots of activities surrounding Easter are more secular than sacred, lightweight shorts, shirts, skirts and traditional resort wear plus swimsuits will have you covered in the fashion department.

Be forewarned that alcohol is not served in Belize on Good Friday, so if you can’t imagine a day that doesn’t include the cocktail hour, follow the lead of tourists and stockpile your bubbly before this 24-hour period begins. Some visitors say that the parties, church services, water sports and visits to attractions keep them so busy, they don’t even miss having alcoholic beverages on this holy day.

Change up the pace of your Belize Easter visit by attending the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycle Race. The antithesis of religious pageantry, this cycling race is an excitement-filled, 140-mile-long event that takes cyclists from Belize City to San Ignacio/Santa Elena and back. This wildly popular competition attracts big crowds, but if you’ve no interest in the sport, your resort host can help you find things to do for this short period of time that are away from the race route along the Western Highway.

Once you’ve experienced Good Friday and Holy Saturday Belize style, you can expect a more familiar day on Easter Sunday. Churches throughout the nation proclaim the Resurrection of Christ during services and then, in fairly typical fashion, families get together for meals as do tourists in country for the holiday. By afternoon, athletic events, fairs other secular events liven up the third day of this holiday—leaving Easter Monday to be observed. On this day, the last of the fairs, athletic events, dances and parties wrap up this four day celebration!

If reading about Easter in Belize whets your appetite, we recommend accommodations at Chabil Mar in Placencia. The recipient of myriad hospitality and media awards–plus recommendations from travelers who keep coming back–this luxury resort offers gracious surroundings, superior accommodations and service. Staff is delighted to help guests find and attend celebrations held during the Easter holiday season, but to see the full extent of what awaits at Chabil Mar, take a peek at the resort’s website.


For more information about visiting Belize or Chabil Mar for Easter, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Lionfish

Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Most famous for their ornamental inclusion in home aquariums, the lionfish are non-native predators in the waters off of Belize. First introduced in 1985 to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean by government officials in Florida, lionfish have rapidly surged to become one of the dominant species in the warm waters of Belize.

Also known as zebrafish, firefish, red lionfish, peacock lionfish, scorpion volitans, butterfly cod, and devil firefish, lionfish have been long considered dangerous pests by the fishing industry. Now, forward-thinking conservationists in Belize have used innovative techniques to take advantage of the lionfish’s ruggedness and resistance to native predators.

Today, visitors to Belize can participate in licensed spearfishing and rod fishing expeditions to thin the numbers of lionfish that thrive in the warm offshore waters along Belize’s Caribbean coast. Thinning the numbers of lionfish in Belizean waters helps protect fragile marine populations, including the iconic conchs that are used in a number of traditional dishes. Commercial fisherman are also beginning to process lionfish catches as seafood after being granted clearance by the FDA for sale in the United States.

Originally from the waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, lionfish have been spotted as far north as Long Island, New York and as far south as Belize. Lionfish have been documented as preying on more than 50 species of fish while using their unique fins and coloration to discourage would-be predators. Lionfish are slow but elegant swimmers, delivering a venomous poison via their spines that can kill a human being if left untreated.

Lionfish can adapt to a number of diverse marine environments, including seagrass beds, artificial reefs, coral reefs, hard bottom bodies of water, and mangrove forests from depths between 1 and 300 feet.

Named for a Maya term meaning “beautiful sea,” Chabil Mar resort located on the Caribbean shores of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize is conveniently located close to some of the areas suitable for spotting and fishing for lionfish on the Belize Barrier Reef.

Chabil Mar organizes scuba diving and fishing tours to the Belize Barrier Reef, including for the purpose of interacting with or fishing for lionfish. Chabil Mar employs only experienced local fishermen to ensure that spearfishing and scuba diving in protected waters adheres to all environmental restrictions.

Whether you want to taste lionfish cooked in a variety of different ways by the Chabil Mar chef or simply want to do your part to protect the environment, catching lionfish is a great way to experience the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef.


Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information about Chabil Mar and Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

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